The European Diploma in Optometry (EDO) and the European Qualification in Optics (EQO) are certifications developed by ECOO to provide an educational framework to underpin the scope of practice of optometry and optics. The countries of ECOO have adopted the EDO as the “Gold Standard” for European Optometry. The EQO establishes the entry standard for optics at a European level. These ECOO certifications however do not replace a Bachelor or a Master degree but represent a valuable addition to a professional’s qualifications.
The competences covered by ECOO’s certifications are fully documented and an increasing number of schools and universities now base their curriculum on the European Diploma in Optometry. The ECOO Accreditation Agency is accrediting a growing number of educational institutions and the reach of the certifications will expand further in the years to come.
While there is no Europe-wide automatic recognition of the ECOO certification, there is an increasing awareness by competent authorities in Europe of the value and level of education that they represent.
The ECOO certification is part of the evidence a candidate presents to the host country in their application process, and the portfolio of clinical experience that is required as part of EDO and EQO qualifications provides valuable information of an individual’s clinical experience. ECOO is informing countries about the standard it sets on an ongoing basis and in some countries have put in place a fast-track procedure of recognition for those holding the European Diploma in Optometry. This is for instance the case in Norway and in the UK.
As graduates move to other countries in Europe, this practice will continue to expand and ECOO is actively working on more competent authorities adopting a clear position on the recognition procedure for the EDO.